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Nvidia's Enhanced Anti-Mining GPU Limiter Debuts in Mid-May

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Nvidia released its GeForce 466.24 driver today, wherein the chipmaker also confirmed the exact arrival date of its improved anti-mining limiter. Listed as one of the driver's new features, the bullet point reads: "This driver updates the hash limiter for the GeForce RTX 3060 12GB and is required for product shipped starting mid-May."

The information from the GeForce driver lends credence to the previous rumor that Nvidia would deploy its revamped Ampere graphics cards in mid-May. Barring any complications, the new graphics card should be available in June the latest. The objective behind the revised Ampere silicon and the anti-mining limiter is to discourage cryptocurrency miners from ransacking the hardware shelves for Ampere graphics cards. Hence, more of them should get into gamers' hands instead.

The previous anti-mining limiter didn't hold up too well. Ironically, it wasn't hacked at all — Nvidia inadvertently released a Beta GeForce driver that rendered it useless. It'll be interesting to see how long this new anti-mining algorithm will last, assuming Nvidia doesn't give away the keys to the house again.

Enhancing the software is just the tip of the iceberg, though. Nvidia previously explained that its hash rate limiter involves a handshake between the driver, silicon and firmware. As an added measure, Nvidia allegedly switched the Ampere dies inside its current GeForce RTX 30-series products for new silicon with different PCI Device IDs.

Nvidia specifically references the GeForce RTX 3060 in its driver, so it's uncertain if the other Ampere SKUs will arrive at the same time frame. Word around town is that the chipmaker will give the treatment to its entire Ampere product stack, except for the GeForce RTX 3090. The flagship Ampere graphics card is reportedly being ignored due to its low return on investment. It stands to reason that the approaching GeForce RTX 3080 Ti will also arrive with Ethereum anti-mining measures in place.

  • JamesJones44
    In other news, miner find a way to defat Nvidia's enhanced anti-mining after looking at the beta driver before it is release... again.
    Reply
  • husker
    I suspect their true motivation is to allow them to market a non-limited card to miners and charge a premium. Or maybe I'm just too much of a cynic
    Reply
  • dalauder
    husker said:
    I suspect their true motivation is to allow them to market a non-limited card to miners and charge a premium. Or maybe I'm just too much of a cynic
    That makes sense. I mean, I'm trying to find the motivation for stopping mining--it's driving record prices and volumes.
    Reply
  • AtrociKitty
    I have mixed feelings about Nvidia's anti-mining measures. I'd like more cards to make it to gamers, but I also don't think it's right for Nvidia to restrict how you use your own hardware. It particularly bothers me in the case of someone mining using a single card during gaming downtime. That' not at all the same scenario as stopping a commercial miner, and mining income is a necessary part of a GPU's value proposition at these inflated prices.

    The previously leaked beta driver still required a monitor be attached, and also needed a proper PCI slot (1x didn't work), which actually strikes me as the right direction to take a limiter. Let people mine on their normal, single-card systems, that are actively in use (driving a monitor, 16x PCI), and enable the limiter when there are multiple cards in an obvious mining rig. I still think there should be no limiter at all, but the above would be the most reasonable way to implement one if necessary.
    Reply
  • punkncat
    It would be foolish of NVIDIA not to make these "mining limiters" easy to bypass. Their bottom line is rocking because they are selling (out) of almost everything, and have even brought back "obsolete" models to fill demand. Why would they actually want this to stop?
    Reply
  • atomicWAR
    I agree Punkncat that the limiter won't last but I also agree with AtrociKitty in that Nvidia shouldn't be doing this to their cards. Consumers should have the right to use their hardware as they wish. Making some money off your GPU when your not using it to game is a reasonable request. These limiters have less to do with keeping cards out of the hands of miners than pushing thier mining cards on miners. Plus when you take Nvidia's arguemtn fact that the RTX 3090 isn't worth limiting due to the return rate...so what happend with the return rate on 723 USD mining card with a 26mh/s...lets see to hit the 106 MH/s like a RTX 3090 you'd need roughly 4 30HX cards at a cost of 2892. What is the price of an RTX 3090 if you can get it, oh yeah anywhere from 1500 to 2500 dollars. Yeah Nvidia's argument falls apart with some basic math. This is all about their bottom line. But to be fair some of that will depend on the pricing of their higher hash rate cards. If the 220hx is indeed only 3000 USD than Nvidia will be telling the truth. Time will tell how Ngreedia they are or not!
    Reply
  • daworstplaya
    Glad this is happening, the HRL can't come soon enough. Many of my friends who are trying to upgrade their GPU have been stuck in hell.
    If Crypto (or specifically Etherium and other GPU based mining crypto) weren't around this wouldn't be a problem for all the gamers dying to get their hands on a GPU, but these are strange trying times that call for extreme measures.
    Nvidia is doing right by gamers that have stuck with the company through thick and thin. Where as the only loyalty Crypto miners have is to money.
    Reply
  • spongiemaster
    punkncat said:
    It would be foolish of NVIDIA not to make these "mining limiters" easy to bypass. Their bottom line is rocking because they are selling (out) of almost everything, and have even brought back "obsolete" models to fill demand. Why would they actually want this to stop?
    Nvidia is stuck selling their GPU's at contract prices to AIB's. While selling everything is great. They're not seeing a dime of the 200%+ markup over MSRP that the market is currently at. Scalpers and middle men are making far more off each GPU than Nvidia themselves are making. By limiting hashing rates for gaming CPU's, Nvidia can sell mining cards, not stuck at pre mining boom contract pricing, at whatever price the market will bear directly to mining companies which will result in significantly more money made per GPU sold for them.
    Reply
  • Phaaze88
    Nvidia wants to control both markets - gaming and mining. They can't control the mining market with the way things are now, that's why they're trying to separate them.
    They also want to avoid the flood of old gpus into the 2nd hand market, because that eats into sales of the new models. Turing, anyone?
    Software clearly didn't work here, so now they need to resort to hardware locks. The latter can be cracked, I'm sure, but it shouldn't be worth the hassle to do it.
    Reply
  • Geezer760
    daworstplaya said:
    Glad this is happening, the HRL can't come soon enough. Many of my friends who are trying to upgrade their GPU have been stuck in hell.
    If Crypto (or specifically Etherium and other GPU based mining crypto) weren't around this wouldn't be a problem for all the gamers dying to get their hands on a GPU, but these are strange trying times that call for extreme measures.
    Nvidia is doing right by gamers that have stuck with the company through thick and thin. Where as the only loyalty Crypto miners have is to money.
    All big companies/corporations loyalty is to MONEY, they couldn't give two $hits about anything else, as long as the product moves, money is the root of all evil.
    Reply